|Image 1: Not as realiable as bloodwork, |
but a valid first indicator of testosterone
levels and metabolic health in general
(image from Millionlineincome)
Alan et al. who investigated the relationship of age, adiposity and testosterone levels in 207 otherwise healthy aging men (>= 54 year) with symptoms of hypoandrogenism found a significant correlation of both total and free testosterone levels and the waist-to-height (WHt) ratio of their subjects:
[...] WHt ratio was more strongly correlated with TT and cFT than either WC [waist circumference] or BMI. Furthermore, in models of TT and cFT, the addition of Ht to WC resulted in an increase in the magnitude of the regression coefficients for both WC (inverse correlate) and Ht (positive correlate), with the contributions of both WC and Ht both being significant (P<0.05 for all).
|Table 1: Waist-to-height ratio corresponding|
to increased risk of high blood pressure,
elevated blood glucose and high triglyceride
levels (data adapted from Leitzmann. 2010)
On the other hand, these results exemplify the viscous circle of how low, or as many family physicians like to refer to them, "age appropriate", androgen levels, predispose to (predominantly visceral) adiposity, which - apart from its direct detrimental effects on metabolic health (cf. table 1) - in turn increases aromatization of testosterone to estrogen and thus further reduce the availability of the primary male sex steroid. While it appears that this is another instance of the "chicken and the egg, who was first?"-question, I would argue that chances are that the "age appropriate" decline in androgen levels goes hand in hand with increasing obesity and should thus also be addressed by a multi-faceted approach constituting of professionally* supervised hormone replacement therapy and appropriate life-style changes, in other words, the incorporation of regular exercise and healthy eating habits into your daily routine.
* the attribute "professional" obviously excludes your average family Dr. who considers your testosterone level "age appropriate" and refuses to measure estrogen, DHT, DHEA and all the other endocrine parameters without which you will never get the full picture